3 December 2003
NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805). Autograph letter signed ('Nelson & Bronte') to [Lady Hamilton], St George [Yarmouth], 10 March 1801, 3 pages, 4to, integral address panel signed ('Nelson'), seal bearing impression of Emma Hamilton's head chipped at lower edge, (seal tear in blank area of 2nd leaf, traces of guard). Provenance: Calvin Bullock collection (Christie's sale, 8.5.1985, lot 224).
A LOVE LETTER CONTAINING OUTBURSTS OF JEALOUS PASSION. 'Your letter, my dearest friend ... gave me infinite satisfaction and believe me my feelings and affection keep pace with yours ... I long to go that I may the sooner return ... What can Sir William mean by wanting you to launch out into expense and extravagance? He that used to think that a little candle-light and iced water would ruin him, to want to set off at £10,000 a year, for a less sum would not afford concerts and the style of living equal to it. Suppose you had set off in this way what would he not have said? But you are at auction or rather to be sold by private contract. Good God my blood boils, to you that everything used to be refused, I cannot bear it. Aye how different I feel ... I long to be alone with you I hate company it ill accords with my feelings. Damn Lord A[bercorn] do not let him take libertys ... You cannot write me too much or too particularly, tell me everything even your thoughts and feelings When did you see Lord A[bercorn] You did not tell me'.
Nelson's resentment of Sir William Hamilton and frantic suspicion that he was manipulating Emma into various affairs reached its peak in the week before he sailed for the Baltic with Sir Hyde Parker. Sir William was at this time entertaining lavishly at 23 Piccadilly, his guests including his cousin, the Marquess of Abercorn, the elderly Duke of Queensberry and various singers of the day, but a projected dinner for the Prince of Wales to which Nelson objected particularly vehemently never took place.
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